In conjunction with the 400th anniversary of the settling of Jamestown, the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation is offering an opportunity to discover possible ancestors who helped settle the colony. You do need to have an all-male (Y-chromosome) or an all-female (mtDNA) line of descent to be able to use this service.
The following announcement was written by the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation:
Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation Invites Curious to Search World’s Largest Genetic-Genealogy Database for Jamestown Ancestors During 400th Anniversary
For Anyone Who Ever Wondered Whether They Had Ancestors Living in America’s First Permanent European Settlement: Non-Profit Research Organization Building the World’s Only Genetic Database Specifically for Genealogical Purposes Offers to Help People Answer That Question for Themselves
SALT LAKE CITY--Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF), a non-profit scientific organization with the world’s largest correlated genetic and genealogy catalog of more than 4 million records from 172 countries, is inviting anyone who is curious about their family history to search its free online database to learn if they had forebears in Jamestown—European colonists’ first permanent settlement in North America—during its quadricentennial celebration.
Four hundred years ago, on May 14, 1607, three small, leaky wooden ships carrying 108 settlers landed on a bank of the James River in what is now Virginia. These first arrivals were English, but the settlement of Jamestown soon became a genetic and genealogical crossroads of European, Native American and African people. Today Jamestown is celebrated as the wellspring of modern America because it had representative government, a free enterprise economy and culturally diverse population.
“To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, we would like to invite everyone who is interested in their ancestry to search our database to learn if they are related to any of those early Jamestown inhabitants,” said Scott Woodward, who is executive director of the foundation and one of the world’s leading researchers in molecular genealogy. “We know by reviewing the Register of 17th Century Ancestors provided by The Jamestown Society that more than two-thirds of the family surnames in the register are also in our database. Even better, through a combination of genetics and genealogy, we have multiple direct paternal lines from some of these first settlers, which gives us their exact Y-chromosome genetic profile.”
The free, online SMGF database (smgf.org) is unique because it can link an individual’s genetic profile to specific ancestors by name going back six to eight generations or further. The non-profit foundation was established by biotech billionaire James LeVoy Sorenson to foster goodwill and fellowship among humankind by showing scientifically how closely related each person is to every other.
Of the settlers’ surnames from the first three groups to arrive in Jamestown in 1607 and 1608—only to face disease, starvation and attacks by local tribes—more than half are found on the SMGF database. Surnames in the Y-chromosome, or paternal line, database include Wingfield, Archer, Herd, Love, Emry, Cantrill, Bayley, Bentley, May, Dole, Cotton and Graves. Surnames in the mtDNA, or maternal line, database include Gosnoll, Sands, Sudley, Waler, Midwinter, Wotton, Gore, Martin, Dowse and Hancock.
Any individual can query the SMGF database for genetic-genealogy information for free by obtaining their DNA profile (usually by a swish of mouthwash) from a commercial genomics laboratory and then entering the results into the Web site’s database search menu. For those who wish to participate by contributing their records to the foundation’s database, the process is free, convenient and private. Simply request a kit on the SMGF website and then submit a DNA sample and an accompanying four-generation pedigree chart.
About Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation
Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF), a non-profit research organization, is the pioneer in the rapidly developing fields of genetic genealogy and DNA analysis. Combining powerful new DNA research with conventional genealogy, SMGF has created a potent new “Rosetta Stone” of genetic understanding that connects individuals throughout the world with their ancestors and living relatives. SMGF has created the world’s largest repository of correlated genetic and genealogical information—more than 4 million total ancestors’ names representing linked DNA samples and pedigree charts from 107 countries, or more than half of the nations of the world.